Sonnenschein launches European office number two

Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has opened its second office in Europe with the acquisition of Zurich-based hotels and hospitality boutique, Bloch & Partner.

The US firm, which does not yet have an office in London, opened its doors in Switzerland last Wednesday (1 October). It has brought on board two well-known hotel lawyers, Heinz Bloch and Robert Schlup along with an associate from their firm, Ion Eglin. Both Bloch and Schlup join Sonnenschein as partners.

The merger with Bloch is a continuation of a strategy launched in May 2006, when Sonnenschein took a team of hospitality lawyers from Squire Sanders & Dempsey and opened offices in Phoenix and Brussels as a result.

Rick Ross, the chair of Sonnenschein’s hotels and resorts global practice said the locations of those new offices had been determined by the home address of the lawyers involved.

“I live in Phoenix and Kenneth Hatton [head of the Brussels office] lives in Belgium,” said Ross. “It was the same rationale with Heinz and Robert, both of whom live in Zurich.”

Ross added that the international nature of Sonnenschein’s hotels practice meant it was immaterial where the lawyers lived or worked.

“We went after them for them, not for where they are based,” Ross said, adding that further expansion of the group was likely over the coming months.

Bloch and Schlup’s broad international practice has advised clients on hotel and resort projects in Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Clients of Sonnenschein’s hotels and resorts global practice include Starwood Hotels, Hilton and Montage Hotels and Resorts.